Amy Winehouse Stumbles Through EMA Performance; Plus Justin Timberlake, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan & More, In For The Record

Avril beats out JT at EMAs; Spears sued by former manager; Lohan doesn't want deposition videotaped.

Amy Winehouse stumbled through her performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday (November 1) shortly after giving a very brief acceptance speech when she won the Artists' Choice honor. The singer — who was announced as a last-minute addition to the show when she canceled her planned performance at the mtvU Woodie Awards on November 8 — gave a brief "thanks" when she accepted the award, and later appeared to have difficulty remembering the words to her own song and danced unsteadily as she performed. And while this year's MTV Video Music Awards belonged to Justin Timberlake (and Rihanna), JT wasn't able to replicate his success abroad at the EMAs. While he was the most nominated artist, he left with no awards — and maybe even more stunningly, he was outdone by Avril Lavigne, who nabbed Most Addictive Track ("Girlfriend") and Solo Artist of 2007. Other winners included Nelly Furtado (Album of the Year), Linkin Park (Band of 2007) and 30 Seconds to Mars (Rock Out). Justice won the Video Star prize, which they also took home last year. ...

Britney Spears is being sued for $15,000 by a former manager who says she didn't keep up on her payments to him of commissions on her royalties for her first four albums — including on her $7 million advance in 2002 — movies, tours, books, etc. Johnny Wright, who was her manager through February 2003, filed a breach-of-contract suit in Orange County, Florida, claiming Spears didn't provide proper accounting of all her gross receipts. He is seeking compensatory damages, consequential damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and attorney's fees. ...

Like Britney before her, Lindsay Lohan is trying to make sure that her upcoming deposition — pertaining to a lawsuit filed over her 2005 car accident in West Hollywood, California — won't be videotaped, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Her lawyers are reportedly requesting that the deposition — which Lohan is scheduled to give December 3 — be sealed instead if their request is denied. "The court should act to prevent such an unwarranted invasion of [Lohan's] privacy, especially where the nature of the allegations ... are so inflammatory," her court papers state, according to Daily News. Her lawyers are also requesting that deposition testimony and written responses from other witnesses be made unavailable to the public. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern denied a motion by her attorneys on Friday for an immediate ruling on whether the deposition will be videotaped, saying he will consider it November 28 instead. ...

Don Imus' radio comeback is now set in stone: The controversial shock jock will be back on the airwaves after a nine-month hiatus on December 3. Imus will return to New York's WABC-AM, which is home to another inflammatory jock, Rush Limbaugh. The Rev. Al Sharpton, a vocal Imus critic, issued a statement on the development through his National Action Network, saying they've "always maintained that wherever Don Imus goes back to work, the company should clearly outline to advertisers and trade organizations like the National Association of Black Journalists how they intend to safeguard against Mr. Imus returning to his former vile and biased behavior. One would think if they were sincere about his apologies and his new commitment they would enthusiastically meet with advertisers and the NABJ to voice these assurances. If they do not, then we exercise the right in the next 30 days to visit advertisers to ask what has changed since they withdrew their support to Mr. Imus's show six months ago. If there are no guarantees that the same conduct they withdrew support from will be duplicated upon his return, we will certainly act accordingly. Mr. Imus has the right to make a living, but we have the right to make sure he does not come back to disrupt our living. Particularly since these are the commitments he made personally." ...

Vanessa Hudgens isn't all smiles these days — the "High School Musical" star is battling with one of her managers over money she allegedly owes him, according to TMZ.com. Brian Schall claims Hudgens owes him $150,000 after he helped her earn more than $5 million by advancing the starlet's funds for her recording and songwriting career. But Hudgens argues that she was too young to sign her contract — when she did so in October 2005, she was 16 years old — and she subsequently disaffirmed it on October 9 of this year, according to the site. Papers filed in court by her lawyer say California's Family Code "provides that the contract of a minor is voidable and may be disaffirmed before (age 18) or within a reasonable time afterward." ... In related news, Aaron Carter has extricated himself from a contract he signed with Lou Pearlman, according to TMZ. The singer's attorney filed suit against the disgraced boy-band mogul in May 2006, requesting that Carter he released from the contract, which he signed as a minor. A bankruptcy judge ruled in Carter's favor and ordered that the contract with Pearlman and his label, the bankrupt TransContinental Records, is no longer in effect — but it's not yet known who orders Carter's recordings with the label. Carter is also seeking an accounting of royalties. ...

What do Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Prince, Genesis, Kenny Chesney, Maná and the Police have in common? Well, in case you're not on the concert-revenue tip, they've been drawing fleets of fans to their shows, making them finalists for the 2007 Billboard Touring Awards. JT and the Police are among the nominees for Top Tour and Top Draw, while Timberlake has also been noticed in the Breakthrough Artist category. Aguilera has a nod in the Top Package category for her tour with Pussycat Dolls and Danity Kane, and she's up for Breakthrough Artist as well. Prince's stretch of 21 shows at London's O2 arena earned him a spot in the Top Boxscore category, along with Bonnaroo and the U.K.'s Download Festival. The awards — based on the artists' box-office performance from January 1 through September 30, as reported by Billboard's Boxscore chart — will be presented

5 in New York as part of the 2007 Billboard Touring Conference. ...

Lance Bass' publicist is denying that the 'NSYNC star was ever married, despite what E! Online reports Bass said in a recent interview, according to The Associated Press. "People do stupid things in the heat of the moment," he had said, referring to a trip to Vegas he supposedly made with an ex-girlfriend. "I've been in Vegas where I've gotten married for, like, five minutes ... it was one of those crazy moments where you're with a friend and you're like, 'Hey, wouldn't it be fun if we did this?' And that's all that happened. It's the Vegas thing to do ... the only reason we did it is because we wanted to get free drinks all night. And we didn't get one. We're like, 'We just got married!' They're like, 'Ah. Whatever.' " But Bass' publicist Ken Sunshine subsequently told AP that, "He never really got married. That's why there's no record of it. ... By saying he was married in Vegas, it was a way to get free drinks." A clerk at the Clark County marriage license bureau said no license under Bass' name could be found in a search of records dating back more than 30 years, according to AP. Bass has been making the rounds to promote his new memoir, "Out of Sync" — which reveals why he kept his homosexuality hidden for as long as he did. ...

The Emmy Award-winning television program "Biography" will air a program on Guns N' Roses on November 29. The show will be part of a string of music documentaries that is also set to include Jennifer Lopez and Fleetwood Mac. ... Try this marketing scheme on for size: The Jonas Brothers are partnering with Gibson Guitars to record their next album while aboard one of the company's tour buses as they trek along the West Coast on the Miley Cyrus/ Hannah Montana Best of Both Worlds Tour. The group will also be playing additional gigs on the tour, and at special shows in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, fans will be able to enter a contest for a private meet-and-greet at Gibson Guitar Showrooms. ... Joel Madden has dismissed rumors of tension between he and girlfriend Nicole Richie, while the pregnant socialite has also denied a report that she has been smoking, according to People. "Having a baby is the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me, and to us," Madden said. His band Good Charlotte recently toured Australia, after which he and Richie spent "a great little getaway" in Thailand. "Now we're just getting home, getting settled in L.A. and getting ready," he said. Their baby is reportedly due in January. ...

Da Brat was reportedly involved in a serious physical altercation early Thursday morning at Jermaine Dupri's Atlanta nightclub, Studio 72. According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, police arrested Da Brat (real name: Shawntae Harris) on felony aggravated-assault charges after she got into a heated confrontation with a waitress. Da Brat is said to have struck the waitress in the face with a bottle of rum, causing cuts on her face. The waitress was taken to a local hospital for treatment; Da Brat is being held at DeKalb County jail, according to WSB. Spokespeople for Da Brat and her longtime mentor Dupri had not responded to MTV News' requests for comment at press time. ...

Jonathan Davis fans will be in for a surprise when they check out the Korn frontman's upcoming solo tour: He'll already have a concert CD/DVD package available for purchase, if everything goes according to plan. Billboard.com reports that Davis will film a small show for friends, family and the press on November 8 — the day before the tour kicks off in Hartford, Connecticut — and transform it into a limited-edition package that will be available, at least initially, only on his tour. The DVD will chronicle bandmember tryouts, rehearsals leading up to the recording and more. ... The Smashing Pumpkins have rescheduled five gigs they had been forced to postpone after Jimmy Chamberlin experienced chest pains, sending the drummer to the hospital. The Pumpkins will now play the Nashville gig on November 11 and the one in Austin, Texas, two days later, after which they'll hit Atlanta for a pair of shows November 15-16 and play the rescheduled Dallas show two days after that. Chamberlin was released from the hospital Wednesday after an angiogram revealed that he had a partially blocked artery. ...

Guess who was an OiNK user? None other than Nine Inch Nails boss Trent Reznor. In an interview with New York magazine about the new Saul Williams album, Reznor said, "I'll admit I had an account there and frequented it quite often," of the now-shuttered file-sharing site. "At the end of the day, what made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store. Pretty much anything you could ever imagine, it was there, and it was there in the format you wanted. If OiNK cost anything, I would certainly have paid, but there isn't the equivalent of that in the retail space right now. iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc. Amazon has potential, but none of them get around the issue of pre-release leaks. And that's what's such a difficult puzzle at the moment. If your favorite band in the world has a leaked record out, do you listen to it or do you not listen to it? People on those boards, they're grateful for the person that uploaded it — they're the hero. They're not stealing it because they're going to make money off of it; they're stealing it because they love the band. I'm not saying that I think OiNK is morally correct, but I do know that it existed because it filled a void of what people want." ...

Jacob "The Jeweler" Arabov pleaded guilty on Wednesday to falsifying records and giving false statements to investigators looking into a multistate drug ring, The Associated Press reports. Arabov, 42, the "King of Bling," who has made custom jewelry for everyone from Kanye West to Bono, agreed to a plea deal that will have him serve up to 46 months in prison and pay a $2 million penalty in exchange for prosecutors dropping money-laundering charges against him. Arabov was arrested at his New York jewelry store in June 2006 and accused of being part of a conspiracy to launder about $270 million in drug profits for the Black Mafia Family, a crime ring that operated out of the Detroit area beginning in the early 1990s. ... Linda Stein, 62, former co-manager of the Ramones and ex-wife of Sire Records founder Seymour Stein, was found dead on Monday in her apartment on New York's Upper East Side; she was killed by blunt-impact trauma to the head, police told New York's WCBS. Stein was also known as a real-estate agent to the stars, finding spots in New York for Sting, Billy Joel, Steven Spielberg, Calvin Klein and Bruce Willis. Police are treating the death as a homicide. ...

Black Lips — who took Brooklyn, New York, by storm with a circus parade in September — are bringing their maniacal ways to the big screen. The group will transform itself into a fictional late-'80s underground punk band for "Let It Be," a feature film due to begin production in May. The film will be directed by newcomer Roger Rawlings ("Neurotica"), and produced by Andrew Meyer ("The Breakfast Club") and Winn Coslick ("The Bottom"), and feature both original Lips music and key songs from the era. ... Swedish indie-rockers Peter Bjorn and John will try to make sure they're remembered as one of the year's most buzzed-about bands with an extra handful of 2007 U.S. shows. The "Young Folks" squad will play Houston (November 23); Dallas (November 24); Indianapolis (November 27); Cleveland (November 29); Louisville, Kentucky (November 30); Cincinnati (December 2); and Millvale, Pennsylvania (December 3). ... Touch and Go Records celebrated its 25th anniversary with a three-day bash last summer — now another prominent Chicago indie-rock label, Thrill Jockey, is getting ready to blow out 15 candles with a two-day shindig of its own. The Fiery Furnaces, the Sea and Cake, Eleventh Dream Day and many more artists who contributed to the label over the years will convene at the city's Logan Square Auditorium for the event, which will include two stages and be held December 14-15. ...

Talks between Hollywood screenwriters and studios hit an impasse on Wednesday, and with mere hours to go before their contract was set to expire, the writers were on the verge of the first major strike against the film and TV industry in 20 years. Reuters reports that talks broke off when the deadlock could not be broken between the writers and studios over writers' demands that they get an increased share of DVD revenues and Internet downloads of their work. Leaders of the Writers Guild of America ruled out declaring an immediate walkout when their contract, which covers 12,000 members, expired at 12:01 a.m. (3:01 a.m. EDT) on Thursday. According to the AP, the union instead said it would brief its rank and file at a meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday night. In the meantime, WGA members may continue to work under terms of the old three-year labor pact, though a spokesperson said, "They will technically be working without a contract." No further talks were scheduled, but an industry spokesperson said after Wednesday's eight-hour session that union negotiators had told studio officials they would contact them on Friday. If a walkout does take place, studios and TV networks have stockpiled scripts that could last into next year. ...

Believe it, "X Files" fans: A film sequel will start production in Vancouver, British Columbia, in December, according to Entertainment Weekly. Creator Chris Carter is slated to direct, and TV series stalwarts David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will revive their respective roles for the project, which has been in the works since the release of "The X Files: Fight the Future" in 1998. "If we didn't do it now and the [writers'] strike was protracted, it would force the movie to come out several years from now," Carter told the magazine. "And that was too late. It was either now or never." ... The woman who was ordered to pay more than $220,000 in the first verdict in a music-downloading trial, Jammie Thomas, has raised more than $16,000 so far in donations on FreeJammie.com. Now she's begun offering a whole range of gear to help raise more for her defense fund, including "Free Jammie" dog T-shirts ($17.49), white thong underwear ($9.99) and women's tracksuits ($49.99), as well as mugs, beer steins, teddy bears, kid's clothes, hoodies and boxer shorts.

10.31.07

Lil Wayne made a brief appearance in an Atlanta courtroom on Wednesday (October 31) for an arraignment in connection with the year-old drug-possession charge that recently landed him in an Idaho jail on a fugitive warrant. According to Wayne's lawyer, William Head, the rapper was only in court for about 20 minutes during the nearly three-hour preliminary hearing and will return on November 20, when a judge could rule on defense motions questioning whether the hotel search that originally resulted in Wayne's arrest on drug charges was legal. The defense also filed a motion requesting to examine the evidence in the case in order to have a fingerprint analysis done on the objects, which Head said were found in a room that the rapper was not staying in. ...

Cynthia Reed, mother of the 14-year-old son of Game manager Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond, spoke out Tuesday about Tony Yayo's pending trial, in which he is accused of having roughed up the boy. "I am looking forward to a trial, and it is important that justice be done," she said in a statement. "Trials bring out facts, and I know the facts will expose the cowardly act of G-Unit's member Yayo of assaulting my 14-year-old son." Leemon responded to Reed's statement by saying, "At trial, I am confident the evidence will show that Tony Yayo did not hit anyone. These baseless allegations against Yayo are nothing more than an attempt by a bitter business rival to disparage and embarrass him. Our investigation has uncovered more than one witness to the incident who will testify that Yayo did not hit 'Lil Henchmen.' This is nothing more than an attempt at legal extortion." The trial begins January 10. ...

In yet more legal-oriented rap news, Game went to court Wednesday for a brief pre-trial hearing, according to TMZ. The hearing pertained to allegations that the rapper (real name: Jayceon Taylor) threatened a person with a gun during a pickup basketball game at a park in Los Angeles earlier this year. Game's spirits were high, according to a TMZ video in which he rants about everything from dressing up like 50 Cent for Halloween to helping out Britney Spears — "I'll shampoo your hair, rub your feet, watch your kids and be your bodyguard," he said. He's due back in court November 14. ...

Britney Spears hasn't had much to say to the media lately — save some choice words for the paparazzi, that is — but she broke the brief silence by going on Ryan Seacrest's radio show Wednesday morning. When asked about the recent media coverage of her child-custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline, Spears replied, "People say what they want and do what they do. It's sad how people ... how cruel our world can be. But at the end of the day, you gotta know in your heart that you are doing the best that you can." When Seacrest asked Spears if she is in fact doing the best she can with her kids, she reassured him: "Oh God, yeah, yeah." Spears also talked about the Tuesday release of her new Blackout LP, saying she spent the day watching movies. Seacrest also asked her about her rumored romance with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Spears, who was on a speakerphone with Alli Sims and Sam Lufti, replied, "Who?" ...

Ashley Tisdale, Good Charlotte, Jordin Sparks, Corbin Bleu, the Jonas Brothers and more will hop aboard the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when it snakes its way through the streets of New York on November 22. Catch the show from 9 a.m. to noon in all time zones on NBC. ... The American Music Awards are shaping up to be a night for the ladies — Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne and Nicole Scherzinger have joined previously announced performers Fergie, Rihanna, Celine Dion (and Daughtry) for the ceremony, which will air live November 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. ...

The new season of "American Idol" is still a few months away, but that's not stopping the juggernaut's presence on TV. Former contestants Clay Aiken and Kellie Pickler will be celebrity contestants on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" on Thursday and November 15, respectively, while judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul will crop up in animated form in the November 11 "Family Guy" episode, in which Stewie auditions for the judges. And in yet more TV news, the "Simpsons" episode featuring Jack Black — who voices the owner of a new comic book store — will air November 18. ...

The ink has dried on Radiohead's deal to distribute its In Rainbows album — well, outside North America, at least. Billboard.com reports that the band has finalized a deal with XL Recordings — which released Thom Yorke's solo album, The Eraser, last year — that would entail the international distribution of the album but allow the band to cut a different deal in North America. The New York Times previously reported that the band had been planning to sign with Coran Capshaw's Side One Recordings to distribute Rainbows domestically, although Radiohead's U.S. publicist, Steve Martin, later told MTV News he could "neither confirm nor deny" the story. The album doesn't have an international release date yet, but according to Billboard.com, it will likely coincide with the Radiohead.com deluxe Discbox release on December 3. Sales figures for the album — for which the band allowed fans to name their own price — have not been released, but Radiohead manager Bryce Edge recently said reports of 1.2 million being sold were "exaggerated," according to Billboard. ... Lupe Fiasco and industry heavyweight Steve Stoute were on hand at the Bowery Hotel in New York on Tuesday night as Bitter: Sweet performed as part of a T-Mobile Shadow launch party. ...

A Maryland couple have dropped their lawsuit alleging Wal-Mart deceived customers by selling copies of Evanescence's Anywhere but Home LP containing explicit lyrics without parental-advisory labels. Trevin and Melanie Skeens had sued the department-store chain back in 2004 after they purchased the album for their daughter's 13th birthday. The news comes nearly 22 months after a judge refused to certify the complaint as a class action, which would have allowed anyone who bought the record in Maryland to hop onboard and collect compensation. ... Van Halen have booked their first gig of 2008, which could be an indication of a second leg being added to the band's current reunion run. The only show that's confirmed for next year so far will go down March 30 in St. Louis. ...

Coldplay have been teasing fans in recent months with updates on their next studio album, and now, in a new post on their site, they say they're almost done with the effort. The band revealed that two new songs, "Famous Old Painters" and "Glass of Water," have come into play for the album, which was already poised to include "Cemeteries of London," "Poppy Fields," "42," "Yes!," "Lost," "Violet Hill," "Rainy Day" and "Leftrightleftrightleft." "It feels like a very dense record," read the post. "There are so many melodies and colors packed into a relatively short space (42 minutes)." Regarding the album's producer, the post continued: "As you'd expect with Brian Eno, there's experimentation and exploration. But the music still has integrity. It's real and honest. There's no posturing or bombast. When the deadline comes and the work is done, this will be the album I always dreamed we'd make." Coldplay were more specific about the yet-untitled 2008 album in a previous post, saying the effort would have a "Hispanic theme." ...

Want to party with Ozzy Osbourne? Want to get arrested? Approximately 40 of his fans in Fargo, North Dakota, got a very unpleasant surprise on Monday when they received invitations to a supposed pre-gig bash that turned out to be a police sting operation, according to The Associated Press. Fans — who happened to have outstanding warrants — were reportedly told about a party to be held at the Venue at Playmakers before the metal legend's show with Rob Zombie at the Fargodome. The bash was sponsored by PDL Productions, a fake company made by Cass County Sherriff Paul D. Laney as part of an effort to crack down on scofflaws who had ignored court summons and failed to pay fines. "It was more of a warrant party," Laney told AP. "Some actually thought it was pretty funny. I think they were upset with themselves for being had." The security staff, which wore PDL Productions shirts, turned out to be deputy sheriffs, North Dakota probation and parole agents, and members of the local drug-enforcement task force. Laney got even more creative with the sting by adding a subtle clue into the mix — each "security" T-shirt also featured a festive Halloween skull, and the image of a sheriff's-badge star could be seen in its right eye socket. ...

Lordi's manager was shot at following their Friday gig in Louisville, Kentucky, according to EscToday.com, Web site for Eurovision. (The monster-themed Finnish metal outfit created a stir when it won the broadcasting group's famed Eurovision Song Contest in 2006.) Rikk Scholvinck was reportedly with his bodyguard at the time of the incident, and although neither was struck by gunfire, one of the band's fans was robbed at gunpoint. According to Scholvinck, after the gig, a van appeared next to Lordi's bus, and four or five teens jumped out. "One of the men with a gun took a fan, a girl, put the gun to her head and forced her to lie down on the ground," said band frontman Mr. Lordi (real name: Tomi Putaansuu), according to the site. "Also, one of the boys froze on the spot while the others fled away, including Rikk and the bodyguard, while another man started shooting at them. Luckily, he missed and no one was hurt. Rikk ran to the bar and called the police, who arrived soon. In a moment we were surrounded by like five police cars, but the guys managed to escape. They were a group of drug addicts that had stolen the [van] earlier that night, and police were already looking for them but have still not managed to catch them." Lordi handed the assaulted fan a lifetime all-access pass to their shows worldwide. ...

Iron Maiden have announced a pair of shows in the U.S. as part of their Somewhere Back in Time world tour. The metal gods will play at the Forum in Los Angeles on February 19 and at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on March 14. ... Speaking of Iron, Iron and Wine only played four shows in the U.S. after releasing their latest album, The Shepherd's Dog, in late September — but thirsty fans shouldn't worry, as more Stateside gigs are on the way. After finishing a two-week run of shows in the U.K. on Sunday, the band will return to America, rest a little, and then head out for another string starting November 27 in Tucson, Arizona. That tour will end December 11 in Austin, Texas, and will be followed by another European trek starting January 14. ...

According to a statement from Earache Records, two members of Polish death-metal band Decapitated were seriously injured in a car accident involving their tour bus and a truck carrying wood in Gomel — which is on the Russian-Belarus border. Frontman Adrian "Covan" Kowanek and drummer Witold "Vitek" Kieltyka sustained serious head injuries as a result of the accident and were taken to a hospital in Moscow for treatment. No additional information on the accident has been made public. ...

The Mars Volta-affiliated indie punk label Gold Standard Laboratories shut down this month, according to a letter founder Sonny Kay posted on the GSL site. Over its 14-year span, GSL released material by the Rapture, !!!, the Locust, Melt-Banana, the Faint and Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, who co-owned the label. The post reads: "We've experienced the onset of factors that have seriously limited our ability to maintain what we feel is the essence of the label; the experimental attitude and artistic freewheeling of times past are simply no longer sustainable. Rather than compromise our goals and beliefs, or allow our course to be charted by financial constraint and an industry in flux, we've decided the time has come for GSL to cease releasing new music, and to close this chapter of our story."